LOS ANGELES — Hey, I remember this team.
This Lake Show brought the energy on both ends of the floor as they clamped down and made the Thunder’s life difficult. The two-game skid is over as Los Angeles defeated Oklahoma City, 112-105.
The Lakers attempted to run away in the first quarter as they went on a 10-0 run. The Thunder missed 8 straight shots before they countered with a 7-0 run to end the first quarter. The Lakers’ lead was cut to 27-26.
It was a bit more uglier in the second as both teams had a difficult time generating offense. Still, we saw the smoothness of Shai Gilgeous-Alexander on display. D’Angelo Russell continued to have the hot hand as he made back-to-back threes near the end of the half. By the break, both teams each had 50 points.
The Lakers defense bore down as they went on a 10-2 run. That run included this Anthony Davis poster on Chet Holmgren.
The Lakers shot 70 percent in the third and it helped them to a bit of a comfortable edge, 84-76, entering the final quarter of play.
In the fourth quarter, Rui Hachimura and a rejuvenated LeBron James helped the Lakers lead by double figures. It looked like Shai (who was questionable before the game) was running out of gas, too. The Lakers might have thought about partying a little too early as the Thunder tried to rally back. But a Davis dunk put the lead back to 8. Los Angeles defeats OKC for the second time this season.
The Lakers looked like the team that we were supposed to see all year. The starting line-up was a bit more familiar with LeBron James, Davis, Taurean Prince, Austin Reaves, and D’Angelo Russell. Rui Hachimura probably should’ve played more but maybe head coach Darvin Ham will finally figure that out late in the season. But what we got here was a great team effort on both ends for the Lakers.
Could the rebounding be better? Absolutely. Even though the Lakers had a 53-46 edge on that department, the Thunder had multiple offensive boards that ended in a three-pointer. I’m not kidding that it must have happened four times in the game. And speaking of three-pointers, the Thunder got great looks but they missed a lot of them (15/49 overall, .306). The Lakers were fortunate that they were missing them. L.A. could also cut down on their turnovers (17 giveaways). But they did outrun the Thunder and that was a great tactic as the OKC defense couldn’t get set.
Anthony Davis bounced back from the game against Utah with 27 points, 15 rebounds, and five assists. LeBron went for 25-7-6. Four other players scored in double figures and that’s the help the Lakers need to give their two superstars.
Jalen Williams led the Thunder with 25 points. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander got off to a fast start but only scored 8 of his 24 points after halftime. Lu Dort was the only other player in double digits with 11 points. The Lakers’ defense woke up for Monday night and limited the rest of the Thunder.
Darvin Ham just mentioned in his postgame press conference Monday’s starters will be the starting line-up going forward. I guess we’ll see going forward and we don’t know what’ll happen from now until the trading deadline (which is on Feb. 8th). But if we get this Laker team (now 20-21) consistently then the league should take note on what’s happening over in the City of Angels.
We’ll see what happens against the Dallas Mavericks on Wednesday.